Burns named in Socceroos squad

Nathan Burns’ scintillating performances for the Wellington Phoenix have earned him a place in a provisional 46-man Socceroos squad for next month’s Asian Cup tournament in Australia.

Burns leads the A-League scoring chart with eight goals as well as providing assists for team-mates.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said the selection was fully deserved and expects his in-form striker to be in the final squad that will be named on December 30.

“Selection for a national team should be made on a player’s current performances and Nathan fits that bill,” Merrick said.

“He has done everything right and not only scored eight goals but set goals up for team-mates.

“You can’t do much more than be top scorer in the league.”

“I tried for four years to sign Nathan and finally got my man.

“He is so coachable and is only going to get better.”

Burns was delighted to be named in the provisional squad but is aware it is just that – provisional.

“It is great on a personal level and also for the club,” Burns said.

“The whole team has been playing well and that allows the front three to benefit from the service they get from those behind them.

“The final squad will be named just after Christmas so I have to just keep playing well for the Phoenix which will improve my chances of playing in the Asian Cup.”